I have to confess that I get very emotional at weddings, especially if the bride or groom starts to cry. It’s a struggle not to start yourself when you hear their sobs. Many couples get so caught up in the details and stress of planning their wedding that they forget what an enormously life-changing event it actually is, and the reality of that hits them when they’re finally standing there, ready to take their vows. I’ve seen many overcome by emotion, crying so hard they couldn’t speak.
So it is always a great relief to me when the readings are humorous and help lighten the mood a little bit. Remember that funny doesn’t have to equal bad taste. There are many classic quotes on love and marriage that will make most people smile (or even laugh out loud). Depending on how formal your event is, you can either go with the very classic such as Shakespeare or something short and hilarious, perhaps by Homer Simpson, Seinfeld, or my personal favorite, Woody Allen.
It’s important to check with the person you have asked to do the reading how comfortable they are standing up in front of an audience. Many would rather die than have all eyes on them (it’s true: a survey found that a much higher percentage of people list public speaking as their number one fear, placing death further down on the list), but if they still want to be part of the ceremony and read in spite of their fear, you can do them a huge favor by choosing something very short and funny. If your reader cracks up while reading it, chances are he or she will immediately relax.
A few examples:
“I was nauseous and tingly all over. I was either in love or I had smallpox”
“I was the best man at the wedding. If I’m the best man, why is she marrying him?”
A husband is a guy who tells you when you’ve got on too much lipstick and helps you with your girdle when your hips stick.
By all means marry. If you get a good wife you will become happy, and if you get a bad one you will become a philosopher.
Other great sources for funny readings, or snippets you can put together into a reading yourself, are song lyrics, children’s quotes, mangled English quotes (“I know that hiding inside your chest is a girl who loves my characteristics” or ” You and me – we are one candle firing in the dark”), children’s books, TV shows, movies, the list goes on.
Don’t be afraid to stray from the standard readings we’ve all heard again and again. Go ahead and choose something fun and creative and totally you – and have a fabulous wedding day!